1st Bachelor thesis / 2008 from
human chaos to artificial intelligence
Completed with the aim of graduating with a Bakkalaureat (FH) in Media Technology from the St. Pรถlten University of Applied Sciences Media Technology / degree course
under the supervision of Mag. art Markus Wintersberger
Thomas Wagensommerer / tm061084
I want to notice, that every term used in this paper is to be understood without a preference for either the male-sex or the female-sex.
Furthermore I really would like to thank Mag.art. Markus Wintersberger for his inspiration and his support and belief concerning individualized creativity.
- Thomas Wagensommerer, 14.9.2008 -
Chapter 1 The theory of inter[a](se)ction_____________________________________________4 Chapter 2 Documentation of the practical work_______________________________________13
Chapter 3 Rhizomizing Didi Neidhart______________________________________________25 Chapter 4 Conclusion or Homo Ex Machina_________________________________________31
The theory of inter[a](se)ction Beyond science fiction and utopias dealing with the rise and the overlap of the machines and with that the loss of human mastery, there have always been philosophical, theoretical, and, consequently, artistic approaches to the relationship between humanity and artificiality; investigations of the intersection of man and machine.
In some cases machines are considered to be the new, the better human. Enormous amounts of money are spent on research on the technological reproduction of peculiarities of humanity. Besides the analysis and transmogrify of the human body and its movements the most contemplated area of investigation is the automated perception. This doesn’t only include processing of visual aspects, but also sound. The epicentre of this work and for most of the artistic workups of multimedia, in general, is especially this processing of audiovisual perception.
This work sees itself not only as both a theoretical, subjective discourse of my personal ideas – of course combined with and influenced by extraneous theories, but also as a documentation of an actual, physical piece of artistic work that is going to be produced in the course of this paper.
The way how machines and, consequently, their smallest common “internal organs“ (the circuitries) conduct, store, transfer, process, produce information, can be considered as a very, 4
very strongly simplified and abstract and, of course, way less inscrutable sketch or outline of the human inside, beyond flesh, bones, and muscles. Over the years people and especially scientists, but also artists have gained more and more knowledge about the similarities of those sketches and their actual originals and, consequently, have developed increasing interest in the possibility of expressing their ideas (first and foremost artistic concepts) through the medium “machine” as a simplified reproduction of mankind.
On the one hand, machines could be, and already are, used as an instrument that is fed and supplied by human input, such as information being given by pushing buttons and keys or through the purest human outcome at all – the voice. A machine can be played. Depending on its number of parameters, it is either easier to use or closer to the original. But it’ll never even get close to this original, because there’s always the possibility to reduce every piece of cybernetic information into smaller and, therefore, endless devices.
On the other hand, machines and computers respectively can be used as the control unit. In this case the output, whatever this may be, depends on artificial intelligence and replaces the human part at the first glance. But, of course, as the title of my work indicates, there is always (human) chaos that interacts and corresponds with the artificiality. Error, glitches, etc. can never be barred completely. Even the strictest programming and algorithmic language has needed a human mind to create it and still needs a human mind to apply it. Through a number of effectors (neural receptor) that tends towards incessancy and their ability to interface, there is a unimaginable amount of probabilities, but still not an endless one, because it is possible to count them, though it would take an unthinkably long
period of time (according to the ideas of Holm Tetens described in his book “Geist, Gehirn, Maschine”).
To illustrate the theories above I want to use the mathematical term “limes /limit (of a function)”. According to an article at wikipedia.org the definition of limes / limit is following: “In mathematics, the limit of a function is a fundamental concept in calculus and analysis concerning the behavior of that function near a particular input. Informally, a function assigns an output f(x) to every input x. The function has a limit L at an input p if f(x) is "close" to L whenever x is "close" to p. In another words, f(x) become closer and closer to L as x move closer and closer to p. More specifically, when f is applied to each input sufficiently close to p, the result is an output value that is arbitrarily close to L. If the inputs "close" to p are taken to values that are very different, the limit is said to not exist1.”
fig.1: illustrated theory by Thomas Wagensommerer
Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limit_of_a_function, Mon, 21.4.2008 / 19:00 6
These two approaches of the man – machine relationship normally melt into a synergy, into interdependency. The machine is to be considered as a processing unit, whether it is the master or the slave in the cause-and-effect chain. Of course, it processes something, but against popular belief, it never gets in touch with the real physical input, such as sound or visual content, because the machine works with the analogue or digital representation of the input: the information per se, which is a small (not smallest; cp. atom [phys.]) self-contained cybernetic device. Concerning the analogue representation the machine works with continuous values of potential differences (voltage) and the digital processing is provided by finitely sampled data stored with 0 and 1. So if we evoke this fact, we must realize that there is no electronic music and video, but their representations. Especially if one considers digital electronic music, the fact of the “missing” sound is described by Marcus S. Kleiner and Achim Szepanski in the following way: “Was ist der Eigenklang digitaler Medien? Ein Klang des digitalen Materials selbst existiert nicht, es gibt kein physisches Material, das mit dem digitalen Code prinzipiell verbunden wäre, so auch keinen mit ihm verbundenen Klang. Im Gegenteil, digitale Codierung ist gerade eine Codierung der wechselbaren Verabredung. Welche physische Gestalt ein digitales Zeichen annimmt, ist lediglich eine Übereinkunft der an Codierung und Decodierung Beteiligten. Digitaler Code ist
nicht durch irgendeine Materialität
charakterisiert, sondern einzig durch Zählbarkeit und Indexierung seiner Elemente.2“ (Translation by Thomas Wagensommerer: What is the sound of digital media per se? There is no sound of digital material, there is no physical material appropriate to the digital code and therefore no appropriate sound. On the contrary, digital coding is a coding of changing agreements. The physical shape of the digital character depends on the agreement between the 2
„Soundcultures“ by Marcus S. Kleiner and Achim Szepanski, Page 59, Suhrkamp 2003 7
participants of coding and decoding. Digital code isn’t characterised through any material, but only through the countability and indexing of its elements.)
Especially for this work the interface, may it be called intersection, of a chaotic mind, a human, and a machine – made, automated process is the aspect to draw the attention to. Homo ex machina et vice versa. (According to the baroque term “Deus ex machina”: god out of a machine).
As time has moved on and moves on this interaction of those two disjunctive conjunctions and consequently contrary archetypes becomes more and more a matter of course. If we consider electronic music the invention and the development of synthesizers changed the conception of the fact, described above, completely. Ralf Hütter, member of the probably most formative electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, enunciated his idea in the following way: “Wir empfinden den Synthesizer als eine Art akustischen Spiegel, einen hochempfindlichen Analysator des menschlichen Elements – auf ein Art, wie es frühere Instrumente nicht waren. Daher ist er wesentlich besser geeignet, die menschliche Psyche und Empfindung auszudrücken als das Piano oder die Gitarre.“3 (Translation by Thomas Wagensommerer: We see the synthesizer as a sort of acoustic mirror, a supersensitive analyser of the human element – in a way former instruments weren’t able to. That is why it (the synthesizer) is more appropriate to demonstrate the human psyche and emotion than the piano or the guitar.
Ralf Hütter, quotation took out of the manuscript „ManMachine(s)“ by Didi Neidhart 8
To reduce the consummated consolidation of man and machine and the therewith symbiosis, whose participants are mutually enriching, to its simplest similarities, there is the error, the glitch. The glitch is described as “a short-lived fault in a system”4. This almost immeasurable period of time leads to a disregard of the parameter time. The abolishment causes an irritation and a reconstruction of the time structure, which could be described with what Franz Kafka calls “Unglück des fortwährenden Anfangs”5 (translation by Thomas Wagensommerer: the infelicity of a constant beginning) and “Schwierigkeit der Beendigung”6 (translation by Thomas Wagensommerer: the arduousness of completion).
In electronic music this very short lasting glitch and timely indefinable musical objects in general are named “clicks”. Clicks per se are not able to develop relevancy
content, because through their missing dimension of time, they are too insignificant.
But what is more important than the, in this case, musical object itself, is the relationship to each other, the relationship between sound and non-sound. It only logical that this phenomenon of the interaction of sound and non-sound leads to the importance - not only in a musical, but a subconscious way - of rhythm.
So, the re-orchestration and re-adjustment of clicks spans a new more dimensional vector space, whose objects (called vectors, in this case: clicks) consist of a magnitude (in this case volume), a direction (in this case: relationship to non sound), and a location (in this case: the location in time).
resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glitch , Wed, 14.5.2008 / 11:34 Franz Kafka, Tagebücher 1909 – 1923, Heft 12, Fischer 1997 6 http://literatur-community.de/buecherdiskussionen-rezension-vorstellung/klassiker/188-die-verwandlung-franzkafka/, Wed, 14.5.2008 / 11:57 5
If we transfer the theory of mathematics to this consideration, it is not possible to span a metalevel only based on two vectors.
At least one of the following possibilities has to be fulfilled to build up a layer: -
Three coordinates (in this case: magnitude, direction, location), which are not on a straight line
A straight line and a coordinate that is not on this line
Two straight lines that cross each other
Two parallel straight lines
fig.2: illustrated theory by Thomas Wagensommerer
This is how a new bootstrap layer, a meta-level is to be generated. 10
To illustrate the affect and the archetypical quality of these meta-levels we have to take a closer look to what is beneath every consideration related to computer/machine – built media/technology: a binary code consisting of 0 and 1, of No and Yes.
Unlike to a phoneme-based alphabet like the English one, the binary alphabet isn’t a representation of the spoken language, but the arrangement and therefore the relationship of and, accordingly, between the symbols makes it a universal language, in which every more complex system could be transferred to.
According to ideas of Sybille Krämer in “Medien Computer Realität”7 this binary alphabet could be compared to money as a general economic medium, because every value (the monetary value in the case of the economic medium and every abstract value in the case of the binary alphabet) can been seen as representation of something (mostly goods, etc.). And although there is just a small number of characters (because there is just a small number of different banknotes and coins) every value can be generated through multiplication.
But there’s still a feature and advantage of the binary system, because the position and arrangement of the characters is fundamental and makes it possible to transfer a word with a number of characters approaching infinity into a system consisting of two symbols, two contrary instructions, two contrary decisions.
“Medien Computer Realität“ by Sybille Krämer, Page 12, Suhrkamp 1998 11
Even the existence of absoluteness per se can e displayed in this way. Though one has to use the following approach: ”Das Absolute kann man also nicht darstellen. Man kann jedoch darstellen, dass es Absolutes gibt. Es handelt sich um eine negative Darstellung oder, wie Kant sagt, um eine abstrakte.”8 (Translation by Thomas Wagensommerer: So the absoluteness cannot be displayed. But the existence of absoluteness can be displayed. It’s a negative construction, or as Kant defines is, an abstract one.)
If we keep this fact in mind and therefore the relationship to the “missing” sound, described above, “the wheel is come full circle”.
“Immaterialität du Postmoderne“ by Jean-Francois Lyotard , Page 98f., 1985 12
Documentation of the practical work
The actual practical work is based on an ensemble (compared to “patch” in Max/MSP) programmed in/with the modular audio software N(ative) I(nstruments) Reaktor 5, which is a tool, that emulates the structures, the functions and even the possibility to arrange the building blocks of actual, physical, analogue synthesizers. But if you use these building blocks in different ways, there is also the possibility to build audio/sound-processing units.
NI Reaktor consists of different levels. The top level is called “ensemble”, followed by “Instrument”, “Macro”, Module”, “Core Cell”. There is also a distinction between the “Structure View” (connections between building blocks) and the “Panel View” (usable interface for performing). First we take a look at the ensemble in the structure view.
This unit defines the active audio-in channel on the soundcard.
The On/Off button sets the “Sine Seq“ instrument on or off when one hits space.
“Sine Seq“ instrument is an MIDI Table to control sine and triangle osc.
“Table Gate“ instrument is able to sample one second of live input in realtime.
“Glitch euda“ instrument glitches the live audio input in realtime.
“Trigger_Sampler“ instrument was built to play samples externally produced.
“Grain“ instrument uses granular synthesis to manipulate prerecorded samples.
“Mixer“ instrument let the user control the Volumes of 3/4/5/6/7 via faders “Endless Delay“ instrument generates a quarter note delay. “End“ instrument and “Compressor“ effect avoid high peaks. 13
6 1 8
7 fig.3: master ensemble – structure view / screenshot
The instrument “TriggerSampler” is based on a simple sampler
controlled via MIDI. Different MIDI notes trigger different samples, which can be organized and arranged in the “Sample Map”, connected to the sampler.
fig.4: TriggerSampler – structure view / screenshot
The instrument “Table Gate” lets the musician record (RAM record) and loop external audio
signals in real-time. This is realized through a “Audio Table” .
length is set to one second. When the mode is “Loop”, of course on the one hand the recorded audio is looped, but on the other hand the position marker
the audio material and a LFO for “mini loops” can be activated too.
1 fig.5: TableGate – structure view / screenshot
can be moved through
Let’s take a look at the instrument “Sine Seq”. This is a sequencer, consisting of an event
table, so a table that controls MIDI events.
The MIDI event values can be edited,
in fact drawn, in the panel view. The MIDI event values define the position in time of the sequenced sine and/or triangle oscillator.
volume and the
The pitch of the
oscillator is controlled via MIDI (external keyboard).
fig.6: SineSeq – structure view / screenshot
“Grain” is an instrument that uses granular synthesis, which is a sound synthesis method. Basically granular synthesis is carried out by taking small loops (called grains / 1-50 ms long) out of the synthesized audio material and arranging them in the desired way. That is how it is possible to change speed and pitch in very very smooth, but somehow in a still very unnaturally sounding way.
In this case the basic element is the “Pitchformer” building block provided by Native Instruments.
This “Pitchformer’s” parameters “Speed”, “Formant shift” and “Amplitude” are controlled via MIDI (external Knobs).
Through some mathematical equations
the parameters “Length / LL” and “Start
position/ LS ” are firstly fitted to the BPM used by the master clock and secondly the artist / musician is now able to choose the values in a tempo related way.
What makes the granular synthesis so special and therefore the “Pitchformer” and the “Grain” instrument, is that the pitch can be controlled as well. This leads to a vocoder - like sounding result. In this case the artist / musician can decide whether this attribute is active or not by pushing the button “KeyFollowActiv” in the panel view. If it is active, the pitch can be controlled through MIDI (external keyboard).
fig.7: Grain â€“ structure view / screenshot
One of main elements of the ensemble is the instrument “glitch euda”. It is able to manipulate audio input in real-time by recording (RAM recording) a certain amount of the input, defined by the parameter “Length / LL”. The recorded material loops endlessly and the length as well as the starting position can be edited while performing.
The heart of this instrument is the building block “Glitch”.
Its parameters “Start
position / St” and “Length / LL” are controlled via MIDI (external knobs).
Mathematical equations ensure that the length fits the tempo.
fig.8: glitch euda – structure view / screenshot
“Endless_Delay” imitates, as the name foreshadows, a delay effect.
The time the
audio input is delayed is a quarter note.
It is also possible to generate a feedback loop, where the delayed audio signal is routed back to the delay unit to be delayed again. If the FB fader is set to 0, the delay
will go on endlessly.
The fader “Delay_In” defines how much (in terms of volume) of the incoming signal is actually delayed.
3 2 1
fig.9: Endless_Delay – structure view / screenshot
Finally let’s take a look at the whole ensemble in the panel view. In this view the interface can be arranged in the way the artist/musician wants it to be. Every instrument’s look and therefore the interface to perform with can be designed individually. Every explanation and every button’s name is written and / or named in a way that fits me as a person. That is why it may be difficult and, at the first glance, confusing.
fig.10: master ensemble – panel view / screenshot
By using this modular, and consequently, partly self-programmed audio software environment – or what I call and look upon as “machine” – while I consider myself as the controlling human chaos, it is possible to transfer the theoretical approach made above to an actual practical artistic work concerning audio. The work is some sort of investigation of sound and non-sound and what combines and unites them, for example the error, the failure, the glitch.
If we take a look at the visual aspects of the work I am going to use another conversion of my theories described above. If we assume that the presence of light is the opposite of its absence, we could equate the light, and consequently, the information that is in the possibility of seeing (whether one goes for this possibility or not, objectively the information is there) with “1” and the fact of having no light and therefore no subjective and objective information, except the information per se of non-information. [cp.: οἴδα οὐκ εἰδώς, oída ouk eidós9 (I know I don’t know) by Socrates).
So what is most important in my artistic work in general in especially in this certain work is on the one hand the dualism of contrasts or rather perception(s), and consequently, subjectivism and objectivism, and on the other hand the machine based processing of humanely controlled chaotic input.
I use the term “chaotic” to describe human interaction with the approach of the “chaos theory”. To sum up this theory very quickly, it says that dynamic systems [systems whose features (in my case for example: amplitude, pitch, duration, etc.) change over time] depend very strongly on their initial condition(s), but their further development and their end condition (if there is an end at all) can not be foreseen. 9
Απολογία Σωκράτους, Apologia Sokratūs; Translation by Manfred Fuhrmann; Reclam; 1987 22
According to the chaos theory the development and action of the features are subject to laws of physics. The term “physics” should be understood as a “natural system”, that includes humanity and humane principles too.
So the humane controlling of an automatically processing machine can be considered as chaotic, because there are certain initial conditions like experience, favor, cultural background, age, sex, goals, aims, needs, knowledge, etc., but the result is not determined and first and foremost the origin of the result can not be reconstructed or explained logically.
But one has to be aware to equate chaos with randomness, particularly in digital arts, because in opposite to chaos a random system is defined as an environment without order, purpose, predictability and cause. In chaotic systems “cause”, in other words the initial condition is the only fully defined parameter.
To illustrate the difference and somehow the discrepancy of the artistic values as well between randomness and chaos, I want to notice that works produced by random processes can not be protected by copyright, while works based on chaos can.
Computer based arts and digital arts in general cannot exist without chaotic input.
Furthermore I will radicalize the theoretical approach made above to my practical work. Every thought and idea, every feature, every parameter is to be reduced to its smallest possible stadium, to presence and absence. Starting from only these two basic conditions a whole new alphabet, a whole new way of cross-linking is made up.
Rhizomizing Didi Neidhart
Discussing and thinking about the man – machine relationship, its problem and its possibilities, is spread widely among theoreticians, artists and philosophers. That is why I want to make a note of such a conversation, of such a dialogue between Mr. Didi Neidhart and myself.
Didi Neidhard (born in Salzburg, Austria in 1963) is not only an artist (musician in bands like Wipeout, Discozma and Dis*ka), but a pop theoretician, director of the institute of art and technology, Vienna / Austria, and chief editor of the “Skug” magazine (www.skug.at) as well. He did several lectures on the topic “man-machine”.
Based on the Socratic method, or “elenchus”, I want to build up a brainstorming – like, crosslinked rhizome10.
I want to notice, that Didi Neidhart allowed me and appreciated it to pick phrases, quotations, etc. out of the original written document, as well as the fact to express my ideas in the course of writing. I want to thank you right away.
The following lines must not be understood as a quotation, but as an long lasting and ongoing discourse and / or discussion between myself and Didi Neidhart.
Rhizome: Term used by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (for example in “Milles Plataeux”) to describe a quite complex and multi-directional network of ideas, historical facts, philosophies, emotions, theories, etc. 25
Visual differentiation is made through different font styles: Didi Neidhart Thomas Wagensommerer
Do you detect and where do you detect a difference between “the creator” and “the discoverer” in the sense of artistic work11?
So the quotation refers to Arnold Schönberg, who sees himself rather as the discoverer of the twelve-tone technique, than as its creator. The difference is a quite ideological one. Creators define themselves as some sort of geniuses, as genius subjects, who make a creatio ex nihilio, a creation out of nothing. That’s of course nonsense. So-called universal geniuses have not done anything different than re-combining something already discovered or have experienced or developed new perspectives. Mostly this has been a transversal and transdisciplinary process. Somebody brings up a formula, a hypothesis, a theory but is not aware of its whole potential. But somebody else does.
If we take a look in the archives, we mostly see disputes concerning patents: several combinations of patents, which are to be seen as a new patent. Sometimes they succeed. History needs ingenious individuals.
“Creating” has always some sort of an aura of something god-like. The modernity, the enlightenment has let God go into retirement and replaced him with the phantasm of a free,
“Soundcultures” by Marcus S. Kleiner and Achim Szepanski, Page 133, Suhrkamp 2003 26
autonomous subject. Now it isn’t God anymore, who created the world, but the human. In detail the scientist, the artist, and the philosopher.
The word creation is certainly related to work. Work, meaning active work, which seems to be rather of a physical nature, than an intellectual one. “Creating” also means focused work (thinking). Christianity insists on the fact that God did know what he has done, but the humanity has messed his plan.
It is interesting that in Judaism the “creation” is not completed, but is still in progress and is developing every day, especially through intellectual, creative work by the humans.
So “creating” can be seen as a product of the modernity, because isn’t the modernity characterized to be manic and obsessive about creating something? Preferential out of nothing. Isn’t any kind of classic avant-garde confident to have messed up or actually destroyed the prevailing order?
But you can see the relationship between “destroying” and “creating” in two ways:
Firstly as a dialectic, whereas “the destroyed” and the “the remaining” go into a synthesis to build up something new in an evolutionary way.
The second way is to understand this relationship as a paradox, where there is no synthesis and no symbioses, because it is not possible. The antithesis cannot be dissolved. Not the
antithesis between old and new regimes (for instance: art forms, genres, etc.), but rather the antithesis in thinking.
So that leads as to the fact that as long as the artist (as a subject) is still creating, there is not going to be a break. This break isn’t going to happen either when the subject sees itself as broken, because the bottom line is that this is mostly not different to diversity, instead of fragmented multeities (referring to Gilles Deleuze). So one has to differ the look for the breakpoint: a radical changed relation of object to subject.
It is not only about “creating” anymore, but also about “discovering” and, consequently, about rediscovering, developing and evoluting.
The things are already here. America would have been discovered without Columbus (in fact it was). The “Roland TB-303”12 always was this “acid-machine”. Now these things already have been there, but the relationship of subject and object always has been based on the fact that an active subject finds a passive object.
But what if I found something that is actually more interesting and even fancier, then the thing I have been looking for? What if fortune is starting to play a role in this context? The fortune has a bad habit: it decreases my active work. This doesn’t mean that the things are to have a transcendent, meta-physical independent existence.
But something different happens: the things are fitting my person. They are speaking to me and looking at me. Small details, which were experienced very slightly, are now getting into the focus of attention. Maybe these small details are now only here (in the focus of attention) for me?
This means, if there are things, which are able to find me, it is not necessary anymore to create.
How and how far is the artist becoming a “Prostheses-God”13, because of nearly unlimited access to technical resources?
Of course the answer to the previous refers to the psychoanalysis / analytic psychology as a product of modernity. So is this “Prosthesis-God” of Sigmund Freud all about? How should we understand “prosthesis”? Does it mean a mechanical appendix to the hitherto
supplement because something is missing? Or even a completely new body structure? Or does prosthesis mean something unnecessary?
Concerning art I think, that there are two possible ways: The attempt to control everything via Man-Machine interfaces. The old fantasy to trigger machine direct from the body or preferentially with the mind. This would satisfy the desire to make art without any indirections. The brain activities would control sound and visions. 13
referring to Sigmund Freud 29
If one wants to take a closer look on these activities, one has to get deeper into brain science. Today’s scientists are able to visualize brain activities, but they cannot understand them. They can see where there is something going on in the brain and so they roughly know what that means, but in fact brain activities are measured voltage values, but not a logical code. So this affirms the Sigmund Freud’s theory of a subconscious mind.
The other way turns against the control. It sees the machines (and consequently prosthesis) as never finished prototypes, as dysfunctional machines or as instruments to amaze. God, with or without prostheses, is consequently irrelevant.
Albert Einstein’s idea of a God that does not roll the dice can only be verified outside the world of quantum theory. Concerning art rather Nietzsche’s “Dionysos” should be valid: a dancing God, who creates out of the chaos, but certainly knows that chaos per se can be or can become a engulfing and destroying black hole. So he seeks for little spots for creating inside the chaos. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari always point out to the fact, that the destroying force of the chaos must not be forgotten.
To come back to the actual question; the machines – as prosthesis – alienate. Concerning just art, this is a super potential. Andy Warhol saw himself as a painting machine and Kraftwerk saw themselves later on as a music machine.
According to the music machine - theory: with a drum machine I can program things no human could actually play. If the body wants to move to that, it has to re-organize.
“Machine music” as “hyper embodiment”, that reconfigures the body. 30
Conclusion or Homo Ex Machina
Is there intelligence in machines? How could a chaotic human, that never is able to stop being chaotic, manage to “use” this intelligence in a creating process?
Everybody has to define the answer to this question on its own, but if one digs deeper and deeper into digital arts or computer based arts or whatever, he or she will come across the momentum, when to decide to control the machines, to be controlled by the machines or to set the condition for interaction.
Every artist has its own initial condition and its own definition of a final result, that he tries to aim on, but, hopefully, never reaches, because then art will become “art pour l’art” and looses its meta-functional aspect.
I can just speak for myself, that I personally think that the link of the chaotic human and the artificial intelligent machine and therefore the multiplication of parameters with an ending amount (machine) with the endless parameters of humanity / chaos is an enormous resource for creativity and, consequently as the word indicates, for creation.
In my creative work I want to reach a point, where the machines (of course including software) are too complex and therefore somehow too intelligent for me to understand, because in this very moment there is a break in operation. The Operation will “flip” to 31
interaction, because structured operating would not be possible anymore, simply because one could not see the structure. Of course there is still a logical structure, because, that is an absolute condition for the definition of a machine and somehow, if I may radicalize my statement, the most reduced and therefore archetypical condition of a machine.
So the human will switch unconsciously from structured to chaotic work that is based on emotional, intentional, subconscious, experienced, irrational, etc. aspects.
This is the stage of “dislocation” and “disembodiment” of the proceeding of creation. The stage, where the subject looses it object and somehow reunites, to become undefined. Further on the reunited “thing per se” takes off its relationship to time and space, just to be reconnected with those two elementary and fundamental conditions by the human and therefore with the human per se.
The man is the machine is the man is nothing is everything. Homo ex machina? Homo ex machina!
- Thomas Wagensommerer 2008-
Published on Dec 26, 2008
Theoretical approach concerning machine based perception and machine based strategies in multimedia arts. Personal point of view.